Dinner Party Dining - Course Three - Italian
The start of a new series of Kirklees College's Dinner Party Dining classes, though the same old chef 😉.
The course was originally scheduled to begin on the 9th March, but the college was closed that day due to a light sprinkling of snow,
which prevented any students from being able to get out of their beds.
So the start day was pushed back to 16th March.
As per usual with the first class in a series, everything was provided by the college, and the dishes to be made were something of a (pleasant!) surprise.
Chicken & Mushroom Risotto
main italian fowl
You can use a home-made chicken stock, perhaps from spare parts of this very chicken?
Or you could make up stock from 1½ chicken stock cubes. If you have no pride.
Keep it gently simmering in a pan on the hob next to your risotto.
- 2 tblsps olive oil
- 350-400g/12-14oz skinless chicken breast fillets
- 50g/1¾oz butter
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 250g/9oz risotto rice, such as carnaroli or arborio
- 150ml/5fl oz dry white wine
- 950ml/32fl oz hot chicken stock
- 75g/2¾oz Parmesan, finely grated
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- finely grated Parmesan
- freshly chopped parsley
Heat the oil in a wide saucepan or flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat.
Season the chicken with a little salt and lots of pepper and add to the pan.
Fry for 4-6 minutes skin side down, turn and baste, transfer to a baking dish and add to the oven at 180°C for 8 minutes to finish off cooking.
Return the pan to the heat and add half the butter, the onion and mushrooms and fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onion is softened, and the mushrooms are lightly browned.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
Add the rice and cook for 20-30 seconds, stirring constantly, then pour in the wine and boil until reduced by half.
Add a ladleful of the hot stock and stir well.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has almost disappeared.
Continue adding stock a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and simmering until absorbed, for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and creamy, with a slight bite.
The risotto should look quite sloppy at this point, but it will continue to absorb the stock.
(Add a splash more just-boiled water if your risotto is looking dry.)
Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the Parmesan and remaining butter.
Cover with a lid and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Before serving, stir well, and scatter with the parsley, the sliced chicken and more Parmesan.
Parmesan Custard or Sabayon
You can call it a sabayon if custard seems a little plebeian.
I came across this in a YouTube video on how 3-Michelin-star restaurant Mirazur, in Menton, France cooks its omelettes.
If you have a thermomix then set it to 80°C for 7 minutes.
Otherwise get out your bain marie and a whisk.
Use 20g of cheese per egg.
- 20g Parmesan, grated
- 1 egg
- splash of cream
Grate the cheese finely. Or grind it to powder in a blender if you're using enough.
Whisk in an egg.
Put in a bowl , over, but not touching, barely simmering water and whisk or stir fairly constantly
until it foams and thickens. This should happen around 80°C.
Don't let it get above 85°C or it will turn to cheesy scrambled eggs.
My thermometer doesn't seem to read very well in small amounts of the foamy sauce and doesn't then show much above 65°C.
Spill in a splash of cream when it's ready to prevent it from overcooking and serve immediately.
ingredient bread snack veg vegan
Italian for toast.
If you want to be fancy, you can cut shapes out of your bread slices before you cook them with a pastry cutter.
You could also use a flavoured oil instead of the plain olive.
- baquette or other long crusty bread
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- garlic clove
- lemon or orange zest
- herbs like thyme or rosemary
- chilli flakes
Preheat the oven to 180-200°C/Gas Mark 4-6.
Slice the baquette into slices ¼-½" thick. Cut them on a diagonal bias if you like.
Drizzle both sides of each slice with olive oil on a baking tray.
Scatter with some herbs or seasonings if you fancy.
Bake for about 10 minutes, flipping the pieces half-way through so they're toasty golden.
Rub a garlic clove over them, or scatter them with citrus zest for extra flavour.